In these days of the COVID-19 pandemic spreading, everyone is more aware than ever that preserving the environment is vital. Pure Denim, an Italian denim manufacturer that has acquired Italdenim, a historical denim manufacturer and now a brand of the company, is focused on some environmentally minded projects.

While it develops and offers eco-friendly and chemical-free made in Italy denims, it has also signed a partnership and has become minority shareholder of a Chinese denim manufacturer called MDS-Mills of Denim Soul through which it provides its own eco-friendly productive techniques upon an exclusive agreement. Along with these initiatives it has also recently developed a communication project in collaboration with Overdrive Design agency that shows how denim shall not be harmful neither for the environment nor for our health.

Image from a recent communication project by Pure Denim-Italdenim
Photo: Overdrive Design
Image from a recent communication project by Pure Denim-Italdenim
“Our denim comes from an entire redesign of our production system inspired by circular economy principles that combine technology, innovative materials and the intention to minimize waste,” explains Luigi Caccia, an expert denim insider and co-founder of Pure Denim, which started with his sister Ilaria in 2016 (also read here). The company has a three million meter yearly productive capacity and continues the path that Italdenim had taken as it was the first worldwide denim manufacturer to sign Greenpeace’s Detox protocol for chemical-free production in 2014. That same year it became the first company to use chitosan, a polysaccharide substance sourced from crustaceans, for finishing denim.


Today PureDenim has progressed further and developed Natural Reco, obtained from a 100% natural substance waste from the food industry. “As we wanted to offer a truly ecological product our research focused on vegetable waste and now use Natural Reco, a special film that is entirely made from industrial food processing waste, protects the yarn during processing and favors its bonding. Thanks to this achievement Pure Denim has eliminated PVA, a highly pollutant polyvinyl alcohol, a quite commonly used low-cost agent whose residue forms microplastics that release into the water during industrial and domestic washing. By using this innovation we can reduce water and energy consumption and consequently reduce significantly our CO2 emissions,” explains Caccia.

Image from a recent communication project by Pure Denim-Italdenim
Photo: Overdrive Design
Image from a recent communication project by Pure Denim-Italdenim
Pure Denim also claims to be the world’s first company to produce indigo dye internally according to Smart Indigo, an innovative ecological process that originates from a Swiss-patented idea by David Crettenand and was marketed by Sedo Engineering SA. Along with it Pure Denim transformed it into an industrial operating procedure for the first time.


Caccia says: “Indigo is insoluble in water. Traditional dyes are chemically reduced through hydrosulphites that are often extremely pollutant and hazardous to health. ‘Smart Indigo,’ instead, uses only indigo pigment, caustic soda, water and electricity. Moreover, its electrochemical process avoids the use of hydrosulphites. For this Smart Indigo cuts the environmental impact of traditional dyes as it is locally produced.”

“Indigo is created, verified, and controlled during production. It is then sent directly to vats for dyeing. This way CO2 emissions are reduced by up to six times less due to on-site production,” he continues. “Moreover, as traditional dyes’ indigo powder reaches a concentration of 8%, Smart Indigo hits 30%.  This means that the higher coloring power of Smart Indigo makes it possible to use less product, even for producing darker shades.”

Among other future developments, Pure Denim is also testing is a new system developed in collaboration with EFI Reggiani, a digital fabric printing machine specialist, using a plant whose technology aims to eliminate water in washing phases.


Pure Denim has also recently signed a partnership and acquired a minority quota of MDS, a Chinese denim specialist from Foshan whose yearly productive capacity is 40 million meter per year. Thanks to this agreement the Italian denim specialist has established a new productive unit that uses plants and technologies very similar to its own through which MDS can produce sustainable fabrics at affordable prices.

Image from a recent communication project by Pure Denim-Italdenim
Photo: Overdrive Design
Image from a recent communication project by Pure Denim-Italdenim
“In a very difficult economic phase, but also for the simple organization of a trip, we offer mass market brands the possibility to use high-value sustainable denims at more affordable prices,” explains Caccia.

“These brands–often based in Europe–can see their fabrics’ production in Italy, can make tests and developments here though can buy fabrics that have the same quality and technical characteristics from our MDS partner in fast times, in significant quantities and at affordable prices.”

Technologies used by MDS are made in Europe, developed and engineered in Italy at Pure Denim and include all technologies used by Italdenim, like for instance, Natural Reco and Smart Indigo.



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